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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 474.7 km/sec
density: 1.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Feb28
24-hr: A0
2340 UT Feb28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 28 Feb 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 Feb. 2009
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.4 nT
Bz: 1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes:
A minor solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on or about March 3rd. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Feb 28 2201 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
CLASS X
01 %
01 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2009 Feb 28 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
February 28, 2009

AURORA ALERT: Did you sleep through the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.

 

AURORA SURPRISE: With little warning, a high-speed solar wind stream hit Earth yesterday, sparking a surprise display of Northern Lights around the Arctic Circle: gallery. The solar wind is ebbing now, reducing the chance for a repeat performance tonight.

BEAUTIFUL CONJUNCTION: Last night, Feb. 27th, the crescent Moon glided by Venus for a conjunction of rare beauty. Victor Bobbett watched the show from Paradise Valley, Arizona. "The Moon and Venus gathered near The Praying Monk on Camelback Mountain--it was an incredible sight!" He snapped this picture using a handheld digital camera:

The conjunction was so pretty, it stopped traffic. " I was traveling through Iowa City, Iowa, when this beautiful arrangement unfolded in the evening sky," says Tom Wagner. "Quickly I found a place to park and photographed the spectacular pair alongside the Old Courthouse Building in Iowa City: photo."

The conjunction is breaking up now, but even with a widening gulf of sky between them, Venus and the crescent Moon are a pretty pair. Look west at sunset!

more images: from Kevin Jung of Grand Rapids, Michigan; from Pablo Lonnie Pacheco Railey of Monterrey, Mexico; from Ben Cooper of Ponce Inlet, Florida; from Melba Poole of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; from Guy Blattmann of Saint-Etienne-de-Crossey near Grenoble, France; from Andreas D. Skjervold of Bodø, Norway; from Chris Peterson of Guffey, Colorado; from James W. Young on the RMS Queen Mary docked in Long Beach Harbor; from Bob Johnson of Saskatoon Saskatchewan; from Ron Hodges of Midland Texas; from Danny Ratcliffe of Scarborough, Queensland, Australia; from Paul Kinzer of Goodview, Minnesota; from Carl Turek of Grand Rapids, Michigan; from P.Nikolakakos of Sparta, Greece;

BLUE STAR, GREEN COMET: This morning, Feb. 28th, Comet Lulin executed a beautiful flyby of the first-magnitude star Regulus in Leo. The color difference between the blue star and the green comet was striking in this photo taken by Alessandro Dimai of Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy:

"The comet gliding by Regulus was a wonderful sight," he says.

The color of Regulus is a sign of heat: Regulus is a young, massive star that burns fiercely blue-hot. The color of Comet Lulin is a sign of cold: The comet's atmosphere contains cyanogen (CN, a poisonous gas) and diatomic carbon (C2)--two substances that glow green when exposed to sunlight in the cold vacuum of space. Browse the gallery for the latest color photos:

UPDATED: Comet Lulin Photo Gallery
[Comet Hunter Telescope] [Sky maps: March 1, 2]


UPDATED: February 2009 Aurora Gallery
[Previous Februaries: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002]


Explore the Sunspot Cycle

       
Near-Earth Asteroids
Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.
On February 28, 2009 there were 1032 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Feb. 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2009 BK58
Feb. 2
1.7 LD
17
30 m
2009 BG81
Feb. 2
4.4 LD
19
12 m
2009 CC2
Feb. 2
0.5 LD
17
12 m
2009 BW2
Feb. 5
8.4 LD
20
40 m
2009 CP
Feb. 8
7.7 LD
19
20 m
2009 BE58
Feb. 10
8.6 LD
16
225 m
2006 AS2
Feb. 10
9.2 LD
15
370 m
2009 BL58
Feb. 11
4.8 LD
17
55 m
1999 AQ10
Feb. 18
4.4 LD
13
390 m
2009 CV
Feb. 23
4.8 LD
18
62 m
2009 DU10
Feb. 24
2.3 LD
16
18 m
Notes: LD means "Lunar Distance." 1 LD = 384,401 km, the distance between Earth and the Moon. 1 LD also equals 0.00256 AU. MAG is the visual magnitude of the asteroid on the date of closest approach.
Essential Links
NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
  The official U.S. government space weather bureau
Atmospheric Optics
  The first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
   
  more links...
   
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